No. 16 Cougars host league matches

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah—After two weeks on the road, the No. 16 BYU women’s volleyball team returns to the Smith Fieldhouse for matchups with Portland Thursday at 7 p.m. and San Francisco Saturday at 7:30 p.m. MDT.

BYUtv will broadcast the San Francisco match. Please note the start time for Saturday’s match has been pushed back by half an hour to accommodate TV.

Junior Jennifer Hamson leads the Cougars (16-1, 4-1) and the West Coast Conference with 4.05 kills per set. With a 1.58 digs average and a 1.20 blocks average, the 6-foot-7 opposite hitter is No. 20 in NCAA Division I volleyball in points per set. Hamson is aided by freshman outside hitter Alexa Gray, who averages 3.42 kills.

Senior Nicole Warner is No. 1 in NCAA Division I volleyball for blocks per set with 1.73. In WCC play, Warner averages 2.21 blocks. Also in the top 20 in NCAA stats, senior Heather Hannemann ranks No. 11 for assists per set with 11.69.

BYU is No. 2 in Division I volleyball for hitting percentage (.318) and No. 11 for blocks per set with 2.95. BYU is tied for No. 3 with Penn State for win-loss percentage (16-1, .941) behind only Washington (15-0, 1.000) and Central Arkansas (19-1, .950). The Cougars are also No. 20 in kills per set with 14.36.

The team is undefeated at home (5-0) and looks to continue that unbeaten streak this week.

Portland

BYU swept the series with Portland last season, putting the Cougars at 2-0 in the overall series. They last met in the teams’ final match of the season, and BYU won 3-0.

Portland hopes to end a seven-match losing streak and pick up its first conference win. The Pilots are 6-14 on the season and 0-6 in league play.

Ariel Usher and Autumn Wedan lead Portland with 3.04 and 3.07 kills per set, respectively. Two Pilots rank in the top 10 in WCC stat categories, with Monica Jordan at No. 8 for assists per set (5.55) and Rachel Fleming at No. 8 for blocks per set (.90).

San Francisco

The Cougars face San Francisco for the second time this season after defeating the Dons 3-1 on Sept. 27. BYU now leads the overall series 5-0.

San Francisco is 12-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Last week the Dons defeated Gonzaga 3-2 before sweeping Portland.

Jocelyn Levig heads the San Francisco offense with 3.72 kills per set, helped out by Ester De Vries’ 3.53 kills per set. Leanna Ludes directs traffic with a 10.31 assists average and Valentina Zaloznik leads in blocks with .65 per set.

How to follow

Live stats are available for the Portland match. 

Fans can catch the San Francisco match on BYUtv or www.byutvsports.com. Live stats will also be available.

Check out BYU women’s volleyball’s promo video on the BYU Cougars YouTube page